The Pennsylvania Department of Health added 4019 new cases of COVID-19 to the state's overall total, which now reads 1,453,387 since the pandemic began. 80 new deaths attributed to the virus were also added, leaving the state with 29,611 deaths blamed on COVID-19. There are 2882 people hospitalized with COVID-19, 682 of whom are in the intensive care unit.
The fate of hundreds of Pennsylvania nursing homes is up in the air as many did not reach the state's vaccination goal. In August, the state Department of Health asked nursing homes to have at least 80-percent of their staff fully vaccinated against COVID-19 by October 1st. Those who do not reach the goal must implement regular testing of staff, and if they don't, then appropriate regulatory action will be taken. Data shows that only one in five facilities were on pace to reach this goal.
While the COVID-19 vaccination dominates headlines, acting Pennsylvania Physician General Dr. Denise Johnson hopes you don't forget to roll up your sleeve for your annual flu shot. She expects this year's flu season to be different than last year's. "Last year, we had a really different position. We were doing all of the safety measures. We were socially distancing, washing out hands and masking," Johnson says. This year, Johnson is concerned that fewer masks and much more social interaction will equal more flu cases across the state. The CDC says it is safe to get a COVID-19 shot and a flu shot at the same time.
An elderly woman died Monday afternoon from injuries she suffered when a car struck her in the area of Donegal Drive in Lower Macungie Township last Friday. 88-year-old Sonia Bowyer of Lower Macungie, was hit at about 5:30 Friday afternoon as she attempted to cross the roadway. The accident remains under investigation.
The Wilson Area School Board has tabled changing the process used to phase out the district's Native American symbol. Instead, the board has decided to get further input from the students on possibly eliminating the symbol of a Native American in full headdress from the district's logo. Should the policy eventually be amended, only the logo would be phased out. The "Warriors" name would remain and the Native American image would be replaced with a "W" symbol.
Bethlehem police say the driver of a silver minivan deliberately drove through the front entrance of the magisterial district court building of Judge Roy Manwaring II Monday afternoon. It happened around 2:30 Monday afternoon at Manwaring's office at 402 E. Broad St. The crash will disrupt court operations for an undetermined amount of time. Bethlehem police say one person is in custody. No injuries were reported.
There's a first coming in the Phillipsburg police department. Four new police officers, one of whom is a woman, will be sworn in on October 19th. That woman becomes the first female officer in the history of the Phillipsburg PD. All four begin the police academy in two weeks.
Sen. Bob Casey is pushing his "Five Freedoms for America's Children" plan. "In here, I think is the strategy for outcompeting China. In here, is the strategy for having the highest-skilled workforce in the world," Casey says. Among the items in the plan: extending the expanded child tax credit and putting $500 a year in a college savings account for families making up to $100,000 a year. Casey made his sales pitch at the Allentown YMCA.
A new study from the Penn State College of Medicine is reporting a decrease in e-cigarette use among minors. The study from Dr. Johnathan Foulds and his research team shows a decrease of about 60-percent. Foulds believes the drop could be attributed to the state's decision from two-years ago to raise the legal age to buy tobacco products to 21. Another factor could be that many stores stopped selling flavored products by JUUL. Foulds says the next big concern is disposable vapes as manufacturers claim that the nicotine in their products is synthetic, not from tobacco, therefore the FDA cannot regulate it.
Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro is filing charges against the company that handled the construction of the Mariner East Two pipeline. Energy Transfer Partners is being charged with over 40 counts of major environmental crimes for allegedly spilling thousands of gallons of drilling fluid into fields, backyards, streams, lakes and wetlands between 2017 and 2020. Shapiro says there is a duty to protect our air and water and when companies harm these vital resources through negligence, it is a crime. If convicted, the company will be sentenced to fines and restitution, but Shapiro says stronger laws are needed to hold these companies accountable.